The Versace Family is Pretty Mad About FX's 'American Crime Story'

Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace. Twitter

There was also speculation that Versace may have met his killer years earlier, though family members and the designer's then-boyfriend Antonio D'Amico deny that. Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair and an award-winning investigative journalist, had just filed a story on the homicidal young poseur when Versace's murder grabbed headlines across the nation.

I was also alive when the gay designer Gianni Versace was murdered/assassinated at the hands of Andrew Cunanan in 1997. "Instead, in her effort to create a sensational story, she presents second-hand hearsay that is full of contradictions".

The family distanced itself from the series on Monday, saying it had not authorized it and was not involved. "In making her lurid claims, she ignores contrary information provided by members of Mr. Versace's family, who lived and worked closely with him and were in the best position to know the facts of his life".

On Tuesday, Murphy told EW, "The Versace family has said it's a work of fiction - it is not a work of fiction". The FX show details the designer's murder, with Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace, Édgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

Who is in the cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story?

Orth's main concern in seeing her book adapted was how the families of Cunanan's victims, including his former friends Jeff Trail and David Madson, Chicago businessman Lee Miglin, and cemetery caretaker William Reese, might take it. "The most important thing for me was to find her voice, because she speaks in a very special, particular way". Cruz said the story treated the family respectfully.

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This isn't the first time Orth's book has bumped up against criticism and scrutiny.

Yes, not everything can be as exactly as it happened and the family states that they see where the production and Murphy used their artistic license in their depiction of events. His reaction and others like it "surprised" her. I have a reputation for being an accurate reporter.

During the Still Watching discussion, Orth digs into some of the fake news on the Versace-Cunanan case that emerged at the time and is cropping up again today, including a "bizarre", "completely false", and "irresponsible" story involving Cunanan and Tom Cruise recently republished by The National Enquirer.

The second season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series, which premieres January 17, examines the death of the famed Italian fashion designer - but his family wants viewers to know that the series "should only be considered a work of fiction", adding that much of the story has been sensationalized and is based on "second-hand hearsay".

Orth's full interview comes at the conclusion of the latest episode of Still Watching: Versace.

USA channel FX, which airs the series, responded to the Versace family's first statement.

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